2020 Mercedes GLE vs. 2020 Cadillac XT5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLE have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac XT5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The GLE’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The XT5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GLE and the XT5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 11 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

The GLE 350’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 18 more horsepower (255 vs. 237) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the XT5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. The GLE 350’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 271) than the XT5’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6. The GLE 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 52 more horsepower (362 vs. 310) and 98 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 271) than the XT5’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the GLE 450 is faster than the Cadillac XT5 V6:

GLE

XT5

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.9 sec

17.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6 sec

7 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.3 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the GLE 450’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XT5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The GLE has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the XT5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GLE 450’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XT5:

GLE 450

XT5

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GLE has larger standard tires than the XT5 (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The GLE’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XT5 (F:275/45R21 & R:315/40R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The GLE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XT5’s standard 65 series tires. The GLE’s optional 275/45R21 front and 315/40R21 rear tires have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile than the XT5’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLE has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the XT5. The GLE’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the XT5.

Suspension and Handling

The GLE 450 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Cadillac doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XT5.

The GLE has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GLE’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The XT5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLE’s wheelbase is 5.4 inches longer than on the XT5 (117.9 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLE is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the XT5.

The GLE’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the XT5’s (58.2% to 41.8%). This gives the GLE more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GLE 450 is quieter than the XT5 AWD:

GLE

XT5

At idle

38 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

The GLE offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the XT5 can only carry 5.

The GLE has .8 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the XT5.

Cargo Capacity

The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XT5 with its rear seat up (33 vs. 30.2 cubic feet). The GLE has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XT5 with its rear seat folded (75 vs. 63 cubic feet).

Towing

The GLE’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XT5’s (7700 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GLE is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XT5. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport, the GLE offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

If the windows are left open on the GLE the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the XT5 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The GLE’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The XT5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The XT5’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The GLE’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The GLE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The XT5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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